20 road trip ideas: Curling, art shows, St. Patrick’s Day, sugar bushes and more, from Cantley to Kingston!

You can’t say this week’s road trip roundup doesn’t offer variety. I’ve got curling and cars, classically inspired art and WWE wrestling, a Matthew Good concert, St. Patrick’s Day parties galore and enough maple syrup fun to keep you on a sugar high all week. Wherever your travels take you, enjoy!

Enjoy classic hurtin’ tunes in Gatineau

Brigitte Boisjoli and David Thibault bring their versions of classic tunes by Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, Elvis and others to the stage at the Maison de la Culture in Gatineau on Saturday, March 18.

Curl for a cause in Russell

curling rocks stones house

Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Adam Harvey.

Hurry! Hurry! Get out those curling brooms and dust off those rocks: You may still have time to register for the Russell Fair Bonspiel, taking place on Saturday, March 18. For $140 per team, you get lunch, dinner and two six-end games. Funds raised go toward Russell Agricultural Society projects.

Get your maple fix in Ottawa, Cumberland, Frankville or McDonald’s Corners

Mad about maple? Your options this weekend include a maple-themed dinner at the MERA Schoolhouse in McDonald’s Corners, part of the centre’s Around the World on a Dinner Plate series, on Friday, March 17 (advance reservations required).

Many sugar bushes are open all week because of March Break, including the Log Farm off Cedarview Road in Ottawa (where you can also enjoy pancakes and sausage, and meet some very friendly farm animals), and Proulx Farm in Cumberland (where brunch and horse-drawn hayrides are among the attractions).

At Gibbons Family Farm in Frankville, highlights include free admission and free maple taffy on several Saturdays this month and next, including March 18; there’s also a $10 pancake breakfast at the Anglican Parish of Kitley church hall.

Cruise for cars in Ottawa

Mini Cooper

Flickr/Creative Commons photo of a Mini Cooper by halfrain.

The big news for car fans this weekend is the Ottawa-Gatineau International Auto Show, which pretty much takes over the Shaw Centre from March 16 to 19. Gearheads can check out hundreds of vehicles on display from more than 30 manufacturers, as well as custom motorcycles and vintage Harleys. Learn about electric and hybrid vehicles, get a coupon good for $500 off a new or used car at participating dealers, and enter a contest to win a Mini Cooper.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ottawa, Osgoode, Westport, Beachburg, Combermere or Cantley

Did you miss last weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ottawa? Don’t worry; you still have time to celebrate all things Irish.

In Osgoode, you can dance to the music of local band Sticks ‘n’ Stones while helping raise money for a local nursery school at the Shamrock Shindig (Friday, March 17).

In Westport, the Cove Country Inn is holding a St. Patrick’s Day Party with Kingston-based East Coast/folk group Turpin’s Trail on Friday, March 17, followed by a St. Patty’s Hangover Party with Shawn McCullough on Saturday, March 18.

If you like your Irish music mixed with a bit of Scottish piping and Cape Breton flair, there’s the St. Patrick’s Day concert on Friday, March 17, at la Grange de la Gatineau in Cantley, featuring Cape Breton performers Ben Miller and Anita MacDonald. You can attend the concert only, or buy a dinner-and-show package.

There’s a DJ St. Patrick’s Dance on Saturday, March 18, in Beachburg, and another one the same night in Combermere featuring Randy Sernoskie and the Intensity Band.

And at Ottawa’s Gladstone Theatre, four local acts are playing Irish tunes and original songs at a St. Patrick’s Day Bash on Friday, March 17.

Admire fibre art in Kingston

fibre art ort loom

Flickr/Creative Commons photo of an ort loom by Nic McPhee.

Art Threads, the Kingston Fibre Artists’ annual show and sale of new works, opens on Saturday, March 18, at the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning and continues until Thursday, April 13. An opening reception with the artists will take place from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday.

Root for wrestlers in Syracuse

Are you ready to RUMMMMBLE? Then I’ve got the event for you. WWE Live: Road to Wrestlemania is one of WWE’s last stops before Wrestlemania 33. Cheer on Kevin Owens, Chris Jericho, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Charlotte Flair and many others at the Oncenter War Memorial Arena in Syracuse on Friday, March 17.

Catch Matthew Good in concert in Montreal


Music lovers have a great reason to plan a road trip to Montreal on Saturday, March 18: a show by ’90s alternative rock stalwart Matthew Good.

Meet an artist in Almonte

On Saturday, March 18, the Sivarulrasa Gallery in Almonte is holding a vernissage for its new exhibition, Metaphor.  You can meet the artist, Sue Adams of Almonte, and explore the show of 20 sculptures and drawings. Most feature the human body and many reflect classical themes, such as the myth of Leda and the swan.

Shop for seeds and tractors in Ottawa

Farmers will be heading to Ottawa’s EY Centre for the Ottawa Valley Farm Show this week (March 14 to 16). Along with a wide range of vendors selling farm-related products, attractions include fiddling, bingo, step dancing, a seed auction and meals featuring local ingredients. Free parking and wi-fi, too.

Want more tips on road trips from Ottawa—including info on hotel discounts, contests, festivals and other cool news? Subscribe to my free weekly e-newsletter! I will never spam you—promise.

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